Wednesday, April 28, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Dirty Vegas!

We all know Dirty Vegas. We all know 'Days Go By.' We also know about the (for what it’s worth) funked out Mitsubishi ad that pretty much made the song cult. Lush vocals matched by big beats that leave the listener with a lingering feeling of goose bumps and melancholy. Yet, if you listen to Dirty Vegas carefully, you’ll know they’re not just one hit wonders - they’re up there with electronic music icons such as Fat Boy Slim and Basement Jaxx. Here’s a ‘did you know,’ you probably didn’t know, Dirty Vegas won a Grammy in 2003 for Best Dance Recording. 

The great news is, they're on a three-date tour in our own India, playing in Mumbai (April 30th) @ Blue Frog, Bangalore (May 1st) @ Fuga and Pune (May 2nd) @ Stone Water Grill, courtesy of Submerge.  Honestly, you don’t get too many opportunities to see Grammy winners perform in India, so treat yourself, check out Dirty Vegas while they’re on their India tour.   

 In Pic: Steve Smith

In an exclusive interview with YHIHF, Dirty Vegas’ vocalist Steve Smith tells us about the band and their sound, the impact of ‘Days Go By,’ playing for Obama, music sell cars 101 and a whole lot more… This is a must read for all fans!

Is this your first time playing in India? Is there anything cultural you’d like to experience while you’re in the country?
Yes, this will be my first time in India so I am very very excited by this. I cannot wait to experience some local life with the buildings, markets and food! Oh yes!!! The food!

There are three of you; what roles do you play as members of Dirty Vegas?
We all produce and play instruments; we also delegate certain jobs for each of us to do. One of us will speak to labels, agents, sound engineers etc. We like to do as much as we can ourselves.

Who have been your influences, inside and outside of music?
Wow! For me musically, people like John Lennon, Marvin Gaye, Bono and Pink Floyd. I don’t really get too inspired by people outside of music, but I think Bill Gates is a special person.

In a nutshell, what kind of sound do you think Dirty Vegas represents?  How has it evolved over these years?
The sound of Dirty Vegas has always been from various inspirations, sometimes it doesn’t always work, but making music should always be exciting and adventurous.  Our music has always been connected to clubs, so we hope that that keeps our music current.

The question has to be asked; it’s almost been 8 years since it got released, looking back, what are your thoughts on your massively popular track ‘Days Go By?’ I mean just the sheer commercial power it represented, one which truly touched the masses and which eventually won you guys a Grammy… what does the song mean to you?
The song will always be special to us all. Wherever we have been in the world, people know that song. That is a pretty amazing feeling for 3 guys from the UK. We get asked to have new remixes done for it every year, but we don’t feel it's time yet.

The Mitsubishi ad, your pride and joy or has it come to haunt you?
No not at all! You have to remember that song/video came out in 2001 and nothing really happened. Then we got the Mitsubishi spot and it went global. Mitsubishi sold more cars than they have ever done, and we got a Grammy. So it’s kind of a good story. Now every band/artist wants their songs on ads!

How did the idea behind the funky music video for ‘Days Go By’ come about? It’s very melancholy at the end. Tell us a little bit about the break-dancers featured on it, extremely talented!
The idea came from the video company called Blue Source, and as soon as we read it, we knew it was special. The guy break-dances for his lost love, and the video shows him as a young man and when he’s older.  The younger break-dancer guy was found early in the auditions, but the older guy was only found the day before we shot the video!

There was a 4-year hiatus between 2005 and 2009, where you guys didn’t release too much material… what was going on during this time?
We actually did release quite a lot of music in that time. I released a solo album, scored a great film called ‘boys and girls guide to getting down,’ composed music for FOX USA.  I also featured on a track with DJ Steve Mac that became ‘Essential New Tune’ on Pete Tong Radio 1. Paul released over 15 club tracks, and also had an “Essential New Tune’. Ben continued with his production work and wrote songs for other artists and TV.

What’s it like having your music used in several extremely mainstream TV shows?  It’s a trend from the past decade, where EDM producers are the go to guys when it comes to programming the background scores in television.
It’s now part of the process of breaking new music, when we let ‘Days Go By’ be used for a TV ad, we were criticized, but now that has all changed.

How do your DJ sets differ from your live act set? 
Our DJ sets are made of the music we love by other artists, with some of our own music thrown in. Our ‘live’ shows are where we play only our own songs with live instruments such as guitars, keyboards, drums, percussion and live vocals. 

Dirty Vegas played at the Barack Obama inauguration – what was that like?
It was a pleasure to be asked to play at an official event for such a historic occasion

You are stuck on a deserted island with a life supply of batteries and a boom box, list out 6 life changing must-have albums you’d like to have with you?
  1. Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
  2. The Verve – Urban Hymns
  3. Innocence – Belief
  4. Air – Moon Safari
  5. Chemical Brothers – Surrender
  6. Sasha – Involver 2

Dirty Vegas’ most sordid concert groupie story – spill the beans! 
We don’t have groupies! 

What advice would you give to budding music producers and DJs in India, what does it take to hit the mainstream and make it big in your industry?
Keep doing what you do and don’t give up. Music has more freedom than ever before!

Where can we preview Dirty Vegas’ latest releases and what’s the best online site to purchase your music? Can you tell us about your latest projects?
We have tracks out on Toolroom records and Harem (DJ Sultan’s label), both of which are on We have our latest DJ Mix Compilation on Stealth Live. The thing we are most pleased about is that we have just finished our new album, which will be out later this year. 

In Pic: Steve Smith

A big thank you to Dirty Vegas for doing YHIHF's exclusive interview! Hope you guys have a wicked awesome time in India! - SG

To RSVP Dirty Vegas' India Tour: Click here
To check out Dirty Vegas' official website: Click here
Discuss Dirty Vegas' India Tour on the Submerge forum: Click here


  1. Nice interview bro :)

  2. I'll be a groupie!!! You guys are my favorite, come play in NYC please.

  3. Found this acapella what do u think is it a good choice for producer?


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